This Halloween, Statesville Prison reigns supreme

Lilianna Kallas, Feature Editor

A prison riot leads to a haunting by clowns and little girls in night gowns. Statesville definitely lives up to its reputation of being one of the best haunted houses in the Chicagoland area.

While waiting to be let into Statesville Prison, there were people in costumes who approached very slowly and got the jump on the thrill-seekers. This made the line a much more enjoyable experience than the typical two-hour wait that would be found at a regular haunted house setting.

A popular character named Fluffy was traversing the lines and scaring people. He also would take pictures with those who dared to ask and was even manically dancing in front of the line to provide some quality entertainment.

Once the doors were open for the audience, guests were moved into a small holding cell and given a pep talk by the “prison guard.” Then, they were sent into the prison itself.

There were many strobe lights and dark areas that made seeing very difficult. The prison does its job with only letting people see the things it wants to be seen, even if it is just a slight glimpse of something.

If a person has epilepsy or is bothered by loud noises, Statesville might not be the place to go because throughout the haunted prison there are lots of strobe lights, banging and screams. There is also an age limit. No one 10 and under is allowed, and people under 15 must be accompanied by an adult.

The actors dressed the part as either creepy clowns, little girls or prison guards that looked as though they were possessed or zombified. The makeup is what made the costumes as great as they were, as the depth and details put into the costume were extremely realistic, and the lighting definitely made it look much more real.

Once the prison segment was over, another line was present. This line lead people into the City of the Dead which was home to many creatures like snakes and spiders. And yes, they were real snakes.

The City of the Dead was full of more flashing lights, though this one was in a cave rather than a prison, and it was filled with actors dressed as farmers or goblin-like beings. The cave spiraled and had many narrow halls and turns that made one feel a bit claustrophobic which could turn certain thrill-seekers away.

The cost of both haunts is 30 dollars for a general admission and 45 dollars for a VIP pass which allows the line to be skipped.

The Statesville Haunted Prison is open 7-10 p.m.Thursday and Sunday and open 7-11 p.m. Friday and Saturday. If a person is in the parking lot by closing time, they will still go through all the attractions.

At the end of the haunt, there is a picture opportunity for free as well as a game people can play that costs five dollars where they are given arms to throw at zombies to try to knock their head off. If all heads are knocked off, a free t-shirt will be given that can be signed by the actors.

There is also a gift shop full of decorations and treats, but it is a bit pricy for what they are selling. The gift shop is connected to the ticket handler and must be walked-through in order to enter the haunted prison.

A food shack is present near the entrance and exit of the haunt, which contains pretzels, hot dogs and slushees.  The food was just mediocre and a bit expensive.

The entrance price is worth the haunt. Lasting anywhere from 45 minutes to one hour, scare seekers get their money’s worth.  Statesville Haunted Prison is quite memorable.